The end of the football season is always bittersweet. Week 17 means the playoffs are near, but it also signals that the entire sport is ready to take an unbearable seven-month hiatus. However, we still have a few wonderful weeks of NFL football left, so let's focus on the now and think about this week's basic strategy teaser bets. Week 17 still has a bit of intrigue with multiple teams still fighting for a playoff spot and a few others with significant seeding ramifications up in the air. However, nearly every playoff team has destiny in its hands, and a win will seal the deal and lock up those spots.
For the final week of the season, two playoff teams are being teased down from a 7.5-point favorite to 1.5-point option. Both squads happen to be at home against two sub-.500 teams. Let's jump into Sunday's teasers and figure out if there is any value taking a basic strategy teaser to cap off the regular season. A basic strategy teaser is a two-team wager that takes favorites of 7.5 to 8.5 points and moves them down by six, and underdogs of 1.5 to 2.5 and moves them up six.
Kansas City Chiefs vs Oakland Raiders
Spread: Chiefs -7.5
Six-point teaser: Chiefs -1.5
Kansas City has a playoff spot locked up but could fall to the six-seed with a loss and a New York Jets win, so this game still has meaning. Staying in the fifth spot means a matchup against the 8-7 Houston Texans, and dropping to six would mean a game against the undermanned and injured Cincinnati Bengals, which might be the better option. However, all that would lead to is a second-round matchup against New England. Expect Kansas City to play this game straight up and shoot for the No. 5 seed without resting players or trying anything funny.
Oakland has been a solid team this season and with a loss here would end the year with a 7-9 record, which is better than what most NFL experts predicted to begin the year. The simplest play is to expect a Chiefs win. However, a blowout might not be in store because they do not have any incentive to look impressive during the final week of the year. Prognosis: Kansas City has every reason to win this game. Lower the spread and take the favorite.
Spread: Bengals -7.5
Six-point teaser: Bengals -1.5
The Cincinnati Bengals might be in some serious trouble for this game and into the playoffs. Starting Quarterback Andy Dalton is still out with a broken thumb, and he may not be back for the playoffs, while second-string option AJ McCarron sprained his wrist last week and will not be at full strength against Baltimore. The Bengals could still earn a first-round bye with a win and a Denver loss, so this Sunday's matchup could be a big one for the team.
Baltimore is sitting on a 5-10 record and with nothing to play for except being a spoiler. The Ravens are currently ranked in the Bottom 10 in rushing yards gained, points scored, and points allowed, so it would be surprising to see the team win this matchup outright. The Bengals may be missing a critical piece on offense, but they still own one of the best defenses in the entire NFL, where they are ranked first in fewest points allowed. Prognosis: Don't overthink any of this. Take both home favorites on a teaser and try to cash in during the final week of the regular season.
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Read more articles by George Monroy
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